The track and field championships concluded on Saturday, and thus ended the 2016-17 athletic season. At the meet in Eugene, two MACletes were able to win a national title, and 8 others were able to garner first team All-American honors.
Matt Ludwig, the sophomore at Akron, won the pole vault after clearing a height of 5.6 meters.
A career best shot put from Danniel Thomas gave her a national championship, and her 9th All-America honors. She would pick up her 10th in the discus on the last day of competition.
There are no medals at the NCAA track and field meet, but if there were, EMU’s Alsu Bogdanova would have won a silver with a second place finish in the 5000k. That’s 3.1 miles, for those scoring at home. Just finishing a race like that is impressive to me, but the Kazan, Russia native covered that ground in 15 minutes, 43 seconds and some change, a school record.
Kent State’s Reggie Jagers would have also won a silver, finishing with a career best 62.51 meters in the discus. In other words, if he were on a football field, he threw something that weights 4.4 pounds standing on his own 32, and hit the opponent’s goal line. Impressive.
On the last day of the NCAA championship, and 2016-17 MAC sports season, Hope Schmelzle finished 6th in the steeple chase, becoming Northern Illinois’ first track and field All-American. Danniel Thomas picked up her second first team All-America award this season by finishing 4th in the discus. Jackie Siefring out of Kent State finished 5th in the Heptathlon, good enough to become a first team All-American. Akron’s Nikki Manson cleared 1.85 meters in the high jump, which is over 6 feet. That was good enough for 4th place, and yet another 1st team All-America award for a MACster. While no national champions came out of the MAC, it was a red letter day for the conference.
Earlier in the competition, Miami’s Andrew Dusing in the 1500, and Kent State’s AJ Stevens in the triple jump, were able to earn first team All-American honors.